Israel bill to prevent early release of Palestinian resistance passes first reading

Megiddo prison in Israel

The Israeli Knesset yesterday passed the first reading of a bill which will prevent prisoners convicted on “terror” charges of requesting early release.

The bill – which will prevent prisoners convicted of murder or attempted murder in “terrorism” cases from having their sentences shortened – passed its first reading in the Knesset yesterday with 57 votes in favour and 12 against. The bill must pass two more Knesset votes before being written into Israeli law, the Times of Israel reported.

According to Arutz Sheva, the explanation for the bill reads as follows: “The terror wave that began in September 2015 [the Jerusalem Intifada] and still continues requires increased deterrence vis-à-vis terrorist operatives. There is no doubt that not allowing the reduction of the punishment would be a more significant and effective deterrent than the current situation in which accessories to terror and terrorists who murdered Jews could be released from prison without having served the time imposed upon them in its entirety.”

The Israeli Knesset [File photo]

“Therefore, it is proposed that those convicted of terrorism and security offenses not be released on probation and not be entitled to a reduction of a third of their imprisonment,” the bill adds.

Though the bill does not explicitly mention Palestinians, it is widely understood that it will be used to deny them the rights afforded to other prisoners. Israel regularly uses the charge of terrorism against Palestinians, meaning they will be denied the same rights as Jewish Israeli inmates who are rarely convicted of terror offences.

READ: Israel arrested 337,000 Palestinians since 1987

Israel currently holds 5,554 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, among which are 482 administrative detainees who are being held indefinitely without charge. According to the Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, better known as Addameer, 489 prisoners are serving a sentence above 20 years and 540 are serving life sentences.

Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons are also known to be mistreated during their detention. Last week it emerged that Palestinian prisoners are being diagnosed with medical conditions late because of a lack of health care in Israel’s jails, with NGO the Prisoners’ Centre for Studies saying that 12 per cent of prisoners are diagnosed with hypertension and 2.7 per cent are diabetic. Four Palestinian prisoners have died so far this year while in Israeli custody, including 57-year-old Hussein Hassani who died as a result of complications in his health condition which he developed in Israeli jails and the medical negligence which ensued.

In the Israeli political context, yesterday’s bill represents the first time the Knesset has been able to overcome the factional infighting that has led to the postponement of a number of crucial debates in recent weeks, including the so-called “cultural loyalty bill” and the Haredi draft law. Since former defence minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned last month – in doing so taking his Yisrael Beiteinu party out of the coalition – the government has been left with a precarious one-seat majority that has made it difficult to pass contentious bills.

READ: Solidarity campaign launched in support of Palestinian Israa Jaabis

(Source / 11.12.2018) 

Twitter enforcing Israel’s gag order on botched Gaza operation

In this photo illustration, The Twitter logo is displayed on the screen of an Apple Inc. iPhone 5 in this arranged photograph on September 25, 2016 in Paris, France (Photo illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images)

In this photo illustration, The Twitter logo is displayed on the screen of an Apple Inc. iPhone 5 in this arranged photograph on September 25, 2016 in Paris, France

Twitter is thought to be enforcing Israel’s gag order on details of its botched operation in Gaza, instructing a number of media outlets to remove posts revealing the identity of Israel’s undercover operatives.

The Electronic Intifada (EI) – a Chicago-based media outlet which reports on Israel-Palestine – revealed yesterday that it had received a message from Twitter instructing it to delete a tweet linking to a story about Israel’s undercover operation in the besieged Gaza Strip in November.

The story in question included an image of Israeli soldiers who had posed as humanitarian workers in order to carry out the secret operation. The image was one of several published by Hamas – the group which governs the Strip – across social media, prompting the office of Israel’s military censor to issue a rare statement instructing Israeli citizens not to share the images. The censor claimed that doing so was “liable to endanger human lives and cause harm to [Israel’s] security”.

Although Israeli media outlets are required to comply with the country’s military gag orders, this censorship does not extend to international media outlets. As a US-based organisation, EI is therefore exempt from these restrictions, leading it to believe that Twitter acted at the behest of Israel which has been scrambling to prevent the spread of the images.

OPINION: Israel’s death squads endanger humanitarian aid workers

In its instructions to EI, Twitter failed to give a credible reason for ordering the tweet to be deleted. EI explained: “In its notice to The Electronic Intifada, Twitter asserted that The Electronic Intifada’s tweet violated the “The Twitter Rules” [which detail what content can be published on the platform] but provided no specific explanation of how it did so.”

EI added that a number of other media outlets and individual users had also been targeted, including Palestinian outlet Quds News Network which had its account temporarily locked by Twitter “after publishing what it had called ‘reports on the botched Israeli clandestine operation’ in Gaza”. A former health minister in Gaza, Dr. Basem Naim, told EI that he also had his Twitter account locked “because of a tweet with the photos of the special Israeli force” that raided Gaza. “He said access to his account was restored after he removed the tweet,” EI added.

Israel is no stranger to utilising social media outlets to quash any information it deems to be against its interest. In June, Israel’s Security Minister Gilad Erdan called on Twitter to close the accounts of “terrorist” groups, which he said included Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Lebanese group Hezbollah. Erdan wrote in a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and its executive chairman, Omid Kordestani, that “giving terrorist organisations the freedom to operate and disseminate messages of incitement through your network is a violation of the Israeli law”.

READ: Mark Zuckerberg’s joining Israeli Facebook group raises a storm of questions

“If Twitter does not respond to the Israeli demand, it will be subject to legal measures that Israel may take against it,” Erdan added.

Yet Twitter has largely resisted such Israeli pressure, unlike its rival Facebook which has frequently bowed to Israel’s demands to censor content perceived to be pro-Palestinian. In October it emerged that Israel had bid to obtain spying systems which monitor social media users’ private messages. Israeli media reported that the system was expected to monitor all information exchanged through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, targeting keywords like “terror”, “resistance”, “nationality” and “religion”.

In July, the Israeli Knesset passed the first reading of the so-called “Facebook Bill” which would authorise Israel’s court to issue orders to delete internet content “if it harmed the human safety, public, economic, state or vital infrastructure safety”. Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has met with Facebook representatives to discuss coordination, after threatening the platform that failure to comply with the country’s deletion orders could result in fines or a block on Facebook being used in Israel.

(Source / 11.12.2018) 

Jewish groups call for Palestinian president’s death

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds an urgent cabinet meeting in Ramallah, West Bank on 14 May, 2018 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds a cabinet meeting in Ramallah, West Bank on 14 May 2018 

Radical Jewish groups today called for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to be killed.

Posters placed by the groups at the entrance of the illegal Jewish settlement of Yitzhar near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus were inscribed with a phrase reading “supporter of terrorists” – in reference to Abbas and called for his death.

US-sponsored peace talks between the PA and Israel collapsed in 2014 over Israel’s refusal to halt settlement building in the occupied West Bank.

On Monday, Israeli forces raided Ramallah and the main office of the official Wafa news agency allegedly to find footage of a shooting which injured seven illegal settlers in a nearby settlement on Sunday.

READ: The political system of Mahmoud Abbas

Israeli settlers also vandalised several Palestinian vehicles in the town of Betien, east of Ramallah, local residents reported.

The settlers also sprayed racist anti-Arab slogans on cars and walls of homes in the area and hurled stones at passing vehicles near the checkpoint of Bet Eil, the resident said.

(Source / 11.12.2018) 

169 Structures Demolished in East Jerusalem This Year

11 DEC5:29 AM

A family demolishes their own home in Silwan, December 8, 2018 

POSTED BY: AHMAD JARADAT DECEMBER 11, 2018

Israeli authorities have demolished a total of 169 structures in East Jerusalem this year – a 20 percent increase compared to 2017.


This month, Israeli authorities have demolished or demanded that Palestinians demolish a total of seven Palestinian-owned structures in occupied Jerusalem.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian Territories, Israeli authorities have demolished a total of 169 structures in East Jerusalem this year as of December 3, which represents a 20 percent increase in such demolitions compared to 2017.

On Monday, December 3, 2018, Ahmad Siam demolished his stockroom and garage in the neighborhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem, reports the Wadi Hilweh Information Center. Israeli authorities provided Siam with an order demanding that he demolish the structures within 48 hours or else face high fines. Israeli authorities claim the structures lack Israeli construction permits.

The following day, Tuesday, December 4, 2018, Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian-owned home and four stores in different areas of East Jerusalem.

Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian-owned home in the Jabal al-Mukaber that housed 12 people. Jerusalem-based activist Rasim Obaidat told the Alternative Information Center, “during the demolition of the home the village was transformed into a military compound. Dozens of police and soldiers closed all entrances to the village, stopped cars and checked the IDs of passengers.” The police also prevented Palestinian journalists from covering the event and forced students at a nearby school to stay inside until the demolition was complete. The process took two hours.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center reports that the Israeli municipality demolished the home under the pretext that it lacks Israeli construction permits.

In Sur Baher that day, Israeli forces demolished two stores. Mohammed Abu Tair, the owner of the stores, said he had no warning of an impending demolition. Israeli authorities allege the stores lack Israeli construction permits.

Finally, in Beit Hanina on Tuesday, Israeli authorities demolished two Palestinian-owned warehouses.

Only days later, on Saturday, December 8, 2018, a Palestinian family demolished their own home in Silwan to avoid paying high fees to the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem. According to the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, 14 members of the Hashimeh family lived in the home, including seven children. The house belonged to the family for 20 years. Israeli authorities ordered the house demolished by December 10 citing a lack of Israeli construction permits, the Palestinian News and Info Agency reports.

The Israeli municipality zones only 8 – 13 percent of East Jerusalem for Palestinian residential construction. As a result, many East Jerusalem residents are forced to build without permits to avoid overcrowding. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel found that 20,000 homes in East Jerusalem – 39 percent of all homes in East Jerusalem – lack Israeli construction permits.

Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem are the target of Israeli settlement plans, which aim to link four concentric circles of settlements, starting with the Old City, followed by the “Holy Basin” (Silwan, Sheikh Jarrah, a-Tur, Mount Zion, and the Kidron Valley), Jerusalem’s annexation border, and finally the West Bank.

(Source / 11.12.2018) 

Adalah: Israel Fails to Investigate, Initiate Prosecutions Relating to 2014 Offensive on Gaza

11 DEC5:59 AM

Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel has submitted a report on the lack of Israeli domestic accountability mechanisms to UN Independent Commission of Inquiry examining 2018 protests in the Gaza Strip.

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court announced, late Wednesday, that significant progress has been made on the preliminary examination into Israeli military actions in the 2014 war and 2018 protests in the Gaza Strip. In a report just submitted to the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 Protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (COI), Adalah highlighted Israel’s inaction and persistent unwillingness to conduct genuine investigations into grave incidents of suspected war crimes against unarmed Palestinian civilians in both 2014 and 2018.

In its 25-page report filed on 21 November 2018, Adalah concludes that Israel’s persistent unwillingness to conduct genuine investigations or to initiate prosecutions relating to the 2014 Gaza war stresses the need for international intervention to provide remedies and accountability for Palestinian victims of the 2018 protests.

CLICK HERE to read the report [English]

The report analyzes key recommendations and other findings made by three Israeli domestic bodies, the Turkel Commission (2013), the Ciechanover Team (2015), and the State Comptroller’s Office (2018). These bodies have consecutively reviewed and produced findings about the state’s investigatory mechanisms, and all of them identified multiple grave flaws within that system. Although the reports’ recommendations fell short of the requirements of international law, they nevertheless remain unimplemented by the Israeli government.

Adalah’s report follows an initial report to the COI concerning the legal work undertaken by Adalah and Al Mezan from 30 March until the end of May 2018. Adalah’s representatives subsequently met with the members of the commission and investigators to discuss Adalah’s findings and conclusions regarding the lack of Israeli domestic accountability mechanisms for Palestinians in Gaza.

WHAT’S IN ADALAH’S REPORT?

Adalah’s report reviews Israel’s failed policies, practices and investigatory mechanisms in relation to the actions of its military in the 2014 war. According to official UN reports, Israeli troops killed 2,251 Palestinians, the vast majority of whom were civilians, including 299 women and 551 children, and destroyed 18,000 homes and other civilian property, including hospitals and vital infrastructure.

Adalah believes that information on the 2014 war is crucial to the COI in fulfilling its mandate relating to the 2018 protests “to make recommendations, in particular on accountability measures, all with a view to avoiding and ending impunity and ensuring legal accountability, including individual criminal and command responsibility, for such violations and abuses, and on protecting civilians against any further assaults.”

The lack of a sound and functional domestic investigatory system in Israel upholds the culture of impunity that permeates all echelons of Israel’s military and civilian apparatus that determines policy and conduct towards Gaza.

Adalah and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights filed complaints into 28 cases of suspected international humanitarian law violations – including war crimes – committed by the Israeli military in 2014. To date, only three investigations have been opened; of these, two have since been closed and one remains pending. Adalah received no response in five cases; 13 cases were closed without the opening of an investigation, and six are allegedly still under examination. All of these cases involve the killings of Palestinian civilians, including women and children, and extensive damage and destruction to civilian property and infrastructure. No indictments have been issued in any of the cases.

WHAT ARE ADALAH’S CONCLUSIONS?

  • Israel’s system of investigating suspected international law violations by its military is unfit for purpose and falls far short of compliance with international standards of independence, impartiality, effectiveness, promptness and transparency;
  • The chronic failings of its investigatory system allows illegal conduct by Israeli military personnel to continue with a wide margin of impunity;
  • For six years, Israeli domestic bodies have issued reports and recommendations for improvements to the investigatory system, all of which have both fallen short of the requirements international law, and remain ink on paper, in what appears to be an empty exercise designed to present a facade of action and good intentions;
  • According to Israeli official data, over 91% of the “exceptional incidents” received by Israel’s Military Advocate General involving alleged IHL violations in Gaza in 2014 have not been investigated, and no commander or soldier was prosecuted for grave violations of IHL;
  • Thus, Article 17 of the Rome Statute may give authority to the ICC to open investigations into these matters, in fulfillment of the principle of complementarity.
  • The ongoing situation of inaction at the domestic level and the demonstrated, persistent unwillingness of Israel to conduct genuine investigations or to initiate prosecutions create a pressing need for international actors to step in to provide remedies and accountability for Palestinian victims of the 2018 protests.

(photo: Palestinians search through the rubble of their destroyed homes hit by Israeli strikes in the northern Gaza Strip in August 2014. UN Photo/Shareef Sarhan)

Opinion/Analysis 12/03/18 Information War between Palestinian Resistance and Israel Heats Up after Botched Raid 

(Source / 11.12.2018) 

Israeli Army Orders A Palestinian To Halt Construction Of His Home

11 DEC1:57 PM

Israeli soldiers invaded, Tuesday, the al-Walaja village, west of Bethlehem city in the occupied West Bank, delivered an order instructing a Palestinian to halt the construction of his home, and summoned three home owners for interrogation.

Local media activist Ibrahim Awad said dozens of soldiers invaded the town, and handed the order to Mustafa Fayez Abed-Rabbo.

He added that the army is alleging the Palestinian is building his 100 square/meter home without a permit from the Israeli Civil Administration office, in the occupied West Bank.

The soldiers also summoned three other Palestinians for interrogation regarding their recently built homes in Ein Jweiza area, in al-Walaja.

It is worth mentioning that al-Walaja has been subject to constant Israeli violations, including the illicit confiscation of lands and the demolition of homes and property, as part of Israel’s illegal colonialist activities in that area.

Most of the Palestinians in al-Walaja are refugees, and their village was among hundreds of villages and towns, which were destroyed and depopulated before and after Israel was established in the historic land of Palestine.

On Tuesday morning, the soldiers invaded the al-Jiftlik Palestinian village, in the Central Plains of the occupied West Bank, demolished one home and abducted its owner.

In early September of this year, the soldiers demolished four homes, and injured sixteen Palestinians, in al-Walaja.


(Source / 11.12.2018) 

Israeli Forces Shoot Dead Palestinian in West Bank

Israeli soldiers stand at the scene of attempted car ramming attack, in Hebron in the occupied West Bank June 2, 2018

A Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli forces on Tuesday near the flashpoint city of Hebron in the south of the occupied West Bank, Palestinian officials said.

Official Palestinian news agency Wafa identified the dead man as Omar Awwad, 27, and said he was shot by Israeli forces near Hebron. 

The health ministry confirmed he had died after being taken to hospital.

Israeli police said a man was shot after his car “drove towards border police” at a checkpoint.

“Shots were fired at the suspect vehicle. No injuries to officers,” spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said in a statement, adding that the incident was being investigated.

Israeli forces in the West Bank have been on high alert since Sunday evening, when seven Israelis were wounded in a shooting at the entrance to a West Bank settlement.

Following that attack, Israeli forces carried out raids in the West Bank city of Ramallah in search of the gunmen, including into the offices of the official Palestinian news agency. 

Speaking Tuesday at the opening of an interchange near an Israeli settlement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned this week’s shooting and promised to “hunt down those responsible for the attack and make them pay.”

Netanyahu said the attackers intended to push Israel out of the West Bank but that Israel would deepen its ties to the territory under his leadership.

“As long as I am prime minister, not even one Jew will be uprooted from his home. Not only will they not be uprooted from their homes, they will build more homes,” he said at the event, about a half-hour’s drive from the site of Sunday’s shooting.

(Source / 11.12.2018) 

ILLEGAL ISRAELI SETTLER ATTACKS, OCCUPATION RAIDS AFTER DRIVE BY SHOOTING

Illegal Israeli settlers have attacked with impunity villages and traffic in many parts of the occupied West Bank after 7 illegal Israeli settlers were injured in a drive by shooting late on Sunday December 9th. In this they are again acting as the militia arm of Israel’s occupation forces, which have raided towns and villages largely in the same areas.

The attacks have taken place mainly along main traffic routes around Nablus and Ramallah, but have included attacks in the Salfit district and in the Ramallah-area villages and the city of Hebron also. Illegal settlers have done the attacks mainly from the safety of Israel’s occupation forces’ protection, like at the Huwwara checkpoint in the Nablus district, where they damaged property at a scrap yard and also besieged a house belonging to Ahmad Lufti, throwing stones at it. Mainly the settlers have blocked roads and thrown stones at passing cars.

The shooting took place on a highway near the illegal colony outpost of Ofra when a group of illegal settlers were standing at bus stop. They were shot at from a passing car. According to @ShehabAgency the gunfire lasted only six seconds. 4 teenagers all aged 16 suffered light injuries, 2 adult men suffered moderate injuries and a 21-year-old pregnant woman suffered serious-to-critical injuries. Her baby was delivered via Caesarean section and survived unharmed and is in a good condition.

Unconfirmed early claim in social media was that occupation soldiers would have been with the illegal settlers on the bus stop and would have survived unharmed. This seems to have been wrong, as were claims in the immediate aftermath that up to 11 illegal settlers would have been injured.

The town of Silwad was blocked and invaded by Israeli occupation troops in the aftermath, which raided outskirts of the city of Ramallah and the nearby village of Abu Qash and Surda taking footage from security cameras with them. The entrace to the town of al-Bireh was also closed by occupation forces. These raids led to confrontations with local youths and in Ramallah vast tear gas clouds drifted not only in the streets but atop the city itself.

The illegal colony outpost of Ofra have been established by illegal Israeli settlers themselves without approval from Israel’s regime, which then provided it with services it doesn’t provide to occupied Palestinians in the area, from electricity to water and sewage – and occupation forces’ protection. Now Israeli regime is expected to wave it’s Zionist magic wand and to ‘legalize’ Ofra to placate the illegal settler movement.

Israeli occupation has revealed a video of the shooting which can be seen online. In our sources, follow the link to Maan News article and roll down to watch it. Although most news articles assume there were several people in the car, based on how the driver seem to have some trouble with controlling the vehicle it could be that there was only one person who steered with one hand and used a gun with the other.

Meanwhile 4 Palestinians were shot and wounded with rubber-coated steel bullets by occupation forces when they escorted illegal Israeli settlers to the so-called ‘Joseph’s tomb’ near the city of Nablus. The illegal Israeli settlers and Israel’s regime claim the site is a tomb of Old Testament figure Joseph, although the first record of it is as a Samaritan shrine in the early middle-ages and the current building is only from the year 1868.

(Source / 11.12.2018) 

YOUNG MAN SHOT IN BACK, KILLED NEAR HEBRON BY ISRAELI OCCUPATION FORCES

Israel’s occupation forces have killed a young man near the city of Hebron on the southern part of the occupied West Bank.

27-year-old Omar Hasan Awad was shot several times in the back and arrived in a critical condition to the al-Ahli hospital in Hebron, where he succumbed to his wounds before 11:00 am local time.

Palestinian news agencies’ on Twitter locate the shooting in the town of Khalah west of Hebron but WAFA News Agency’s article situates the incident at Idna, also west of Hebron.

According to eye-witnesses Awad was left to bleed by Israeli occupation forces until a Palestinian ambulance arrived and its crew were able to evacuate him. No further details of the fatal incident are available yet.

(Source / 11.12.2018) 

Israel arrested 337,000 Palestinians since 1987

Israeli security forces arrest a Palestinian boy who was demonstrating against US President Donald Trump’s announcement to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on 20 December 2017 [Nedal Eshtayah/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli security forces arrest a Palestinian boy who was demonstrating against US President Donald Trump’s announcement to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on 20 December 2017

Israel has arrested 337,000 Palestinians since the start of the First Intifada in 8 December 1987, the Palestine Prisoners’ Centre for Studies said yesterday.

In spite of the arrests, the centre’s spokesperson Riyadh Al-Ashqar said, the occupation has failed to achieve its goals of suppressing the Palestinian resistance and its efforts to liberate Palestine.

Israel has arrests Palestinians on an almost daily basis, he added.

According to the report, occupation forces arrested 210,000 Palestinians between 1987 and 1994, when the Palestinian Authority was established.

Israel built and opened a number of prisons in order to administer the detentions. The most famous is Al-Naqab Prisoner, which is located in the middle of the desert and which hosted tens of thousands of the Palestinian detainees.

READ: Israeli forces injure 33 Palestinian protesters 

Between 1994 and 2000, the Israeli occupation arrested 10,000 Palestinians, 97,000 others were detained between 2000 and 2015. Since 2015 until today, Israeli occupation forces have arrested 20,000 Palestinians.

The report reiterated that detainees’ medical needs are ignored and as a result they suffer negligence and abuse in Israeli jails.

Al-Ashqar said that there are 27 Palestinians prisoners inside the Israeli jail who have been serving sentences since before the creation of the Palestinian Authority in 1994.

They are, he said, the prisoners who Israel refused to release prior to the anticipated resumption of peace talks in 2014, meaning negotiations never got underway.

1 million Palestinians have been arrested by #Israel since the #Nakba.

Take the journey of those who lived through the Nakba:https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/specia…/refugee_journey/…/

(Source / 10.12.2018)